Our 6 Step Solar Panel Installation Guide
Once you have determined a solar company, and financing option, you are ready to install solar. Go Solar Group has a succinct 6-step installation process.
1. Your Solar Site Evaluation
Solar companies provide free in-person assessments; these calculations are based on google rendered images and solar measuring software. Once you have decided on a company these measurements need to be verified.
Site Evaluation Duration and Process
When you get a site evaluation, a design specialist comes to your home. They measure your roof space and examine your electric service panel.
This data informs the design specialist of any needed adjustments to your array before creating your solar plans. Site evaluations normally take between 30-40 minutes.
How You Can Help Expedite the Site Evaluation
There are a couple of things that you can do to help the site evaluation go smoothly. The first is to respond to our scheduling calls. Installations can’t proceed until the homeowner approves the scheduled site evaluation.
Once your site evaluation is on the schedule you can decide whether or not you would like to be there for it. We prefer that you are there for the evaluation, but you don’t need to be. On the day of your site survey, it will help if you keep pets indoors and the entrance to your backyard unlocked.
2. Acquiring City/Utility/HOA Approval
From the site survey, we create site plans and electrical plans that we submit for approval. Obtaining city, utility and HOA approval is vital to the installation process. Nothing can happen until these approvals are in hand.
Duration and Process of Approvals
Approval is the most time-consuming part of the process. It can take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks for city permits and utility authorization to go through. And if you live in an HOA they can take anywhere between 30 to 45 days to process the request.
How You Can Help Us Obtain Approvals
Individuals that live in HOAs can help by communicating. Letting the HOA know that your plans will be sent to them and then following up with them can help speed the process.
Another way you can help is to keep all the information on your utility bill the same. A name change or utility bill ownership change will delay the installation process.
It costs about 300 dollars for an engineer to justify the usage under a new name and an additional 3 to 4-week wait. Some utilities, like NV Energy, don’t except justified usage. Instead, they delay the approval by a year so they can collect usage under the new name.
3. Solar Installation: All Down Hill From Here
Once we have approval and necessary permits, we can schedule your solar installation. The actual installation is the start of the downhill slope; once installed, you are only a couple steps away from turning on your solar array.
What to Expect During your Installation
After obtaining the necessary approvals, it takes 1 to 3 days to have your array installed. Our roof crew installs the panels; and our electrical crew installs the inverter, meter socket and safety switch.
How You Can Help With the Installation
A timely response to our installation scheduling call is ideal. The sooner you can get back to us the sooner you will be on the schedule.
On the day of your installation, it will help if you have any pets kept inside. Whether you are there is optional, but it is preferred. Unlocking the entrance to your back yard and clearing your driveway will also help.
4. Getting Your City Inspection
Once installed you are ready for the city inspection. This is one of two inspections needed before you can turn on your system.
City Inspection Procedure and Expected Time
After your array installation is complete the city inspection will be scheduled. This inspection is normally scheduled 3 to 5 days after the installation. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete.
In this inspection, the city inspector examines your photovoltaic system. They make sure the array matches the submitted plans.
What You Can Do to Help the City Inspection
It is best if your pets are kept inside during the inspection. Again your presence is optional. If you aren’t home, though, you should make sure your backyard is unlocked.
5. Utility Inspection and Commissioning
Once your installation has passed the city inspection, you are ready for the utility inspection.
What Happens During Utility Inspection and Commissioning
The utility inspection typically takes between 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The utility inspector comes to your home, installs a PV meter and switches out your old meter.
You are now ready to turn on your solar array. Make sure you don’t turn on your system before your net meter has been installed—the utility will fine you for it.
Helping With the Utility Inspection Process
The best way to help this inspection run smoothly is to keep pets inside and leave the backyard unlocked. You can be there if you would like, but you don’t have to be present.
6. Installing Solar Monitoring
The final step to installation is setting up your monitoring system. This will allow you to keep track of your solar production.
Go Solar Group’s Inverter Monitoring Set-up Expectations
Setting up the monitoring system take between 45 to 60 minutes. As part of our installation process, we install the monitoring system for you. You can do it yourself, however, if you want.
Your Part in Setting up Your Monitoring
Once you have your login credentials you will need to set up a login and password. Make sure you keep this information in a safe labeled spot in case you forget it. Forgetting passwords is one of the most common monitoring concerns.